Last weekend Eldritch Moon prerelease events were held on Magic Online, and because I didn't make it to any local paper prerelease events this was my first opportunity to immerse myself and use the new cards I've been excited about for weeks.
Shadows over Innistrad being part of the format means a smooth transition, but Eldritch Moon makes up the bulk of any draft. It's essential to have an understanding of how the new cards work with each other and in conjunction with the cards we're already familiar with. I started off my testing with the classic prerelease experience, a sealed deck, to familiarize myself with the cards and get a feel for how they work together, and then I hopped right into a draft. If you've never drafted Eldritch Moon then you're exactly where I was before I recorded. Join me in my exploration of a new format, where I rely on fundamentals of limited as a backbone to structure my draft. If you're more experienced with the format, I hope that you'll find insight in my perspective. Here are the results:
Shadows over Innistrad was designed around synergy, which was reflected while drafting the set, but Eldritch Moon replacing two packs in the draft means that these synergies have been heavily diluted. The new set does support the old in some ways, and in their meshing there are opportunities to use madness and enable delirium or trigger prowess, but these aren't at the forefront of what the format is about. These mechanics and synergies add a nuanced layer to drafting and deckbuilding, and those that are able to naturally make use of them as part of their overall game plan will be rewarded, but they aren't prerequisites to success. It's a classic Limited environment, not too fast nor controlling, focused on fundamentals like card advantage and mana efficiency. Evasion creatures, a cornerstone of limited, are particularly valuable because there aren't many available and there are few good blockers for them. Build a curve of creatures with a dose of removal and a sprinkling of tricks, and you'll be in great shape.
I've assembled a list of the top commons and uncommons in each color in Eldritch Moon. Beyond rares and mythics, these are cards you want to take early in a draft, and getting passed one late is a strong signal that the color is open.
Boon of Emrakul
Mockery of Nature
As far as particular color combinations, anything goes, but here's what each color is generally about:
W/G: Human Aggro with equipment
U/W: Spirit Fliers
U/B: Zombie Self-Mill
B/R: Vampire Madness
R/G: Werewolf Midrange
W/B: "Good Stuff" with enchantment and delirium subthemes
W/R: Hyper-Aggro with combat tricks
What have you learned about drafting Eldritch Moon? Share your thoughts in the comments, and I'll answer any questions!